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Stormrider Festival, Badlands Bar, Perth – 29th June 2019

| 4 August 2019 | Reply

Stormrider Festival, Badlands Bar, Perth – 29th June 2019
Review & photography by Pete Gardner

Diamond Sky
Divine Ascension
Orpheus Omega
Truth Corroded
Silent Knight

Each year the annual Stormrider Heavy metal festival is a showcase of the best of Australian Metal, and this year was an absolute ripper! Six bands all with new albums just dropped or about to, all at the top of their game giving a night of unbridled fury and passion to the delight of Perths Heavy Metal aficionados.

Badlands is one of my favourite Perth venues, the décor inside settling the audience into a cave, complete with the obligatory stalactites hanging from the ceiling. It is not your typical venue shape either with an oval (ish) recessed floor in front of the stage and a tiered balcony and seated booths running around, so no matter where you stand or sit you have a good view of the band.

Opening proceedings for the event, Perths own Diamond Sky, kicked off in style to entertain the early crowd taking full advantage of Happy hour, Badlands does have a good range of beers, happy hour prices making them all the sweeter. Frontman Freddie Mousavi, sporting a great voice and an impressive Afro, writes great lyrics decrying gun violence and religion. It is possible there is a law passed that every heavy metal festival must have at least one Iron Maiden cover, and I loved Diamond Sky’s version of Wasted Years. These guys are local, make sure you go and check them out next time they play!

NextGEN Gallery


With no delay, Divine Ascension from Melbourne, took to the stage for their first performance out West, showcasing work from their new album, The Uncovering. Opening with the track Vultures, it was immediately apparent vocalist Jen Borg has a voice that just soars. The band were having an absolute ball on stage, with Guitarist Karl Szulik grinning from ear to ear, looking a bit like a crazed Tim Minchin. The crowd loved the set and the merch stand did swift business as people snapped up the CD.

Darkening the tone, and the lighting, Melodic Death Metallers Orpheus Omega, also hailing from Melbourne arrived to an omnious ambient intro track, before exploding with fury. The front rows headbanging in unison as the band, lead by frontman and lead guitarist Chris Themlco powered through tracks from their forthcoming album Partum Vita Mortem. Running short of time towards the end of the set Chris offered the crowd a choice of song to finish, either a boppy jumping number, or a wall of death. A huge cheer went up for the latter, and I hastily beat a retreat from the front row in an effort to protect my camera gear as violence ensued. What I love about Metal crowds is it never matters how fast and furious the mosh is, I’ve never seen a fist thrown in anger.

Death/Thrash Metal was up next for the connoisseurs, in the shape of Truth Corroded. These guys hail from Adelaide, and have just released their third album, Bloodlands. The crowd again loved every minute of the loudest and fastest set of the night, the front rows blurring into a mass of flying hair with the band headbanging along as singer Jason North entreated the crowd to support Australian Heavy Metal, which, as we all know, is as good as anywhere in the world.

The main event, which everyone had been waiting for finally arrived as Sydneysiders and legends of Australian Heavy metal LORD took to the stage. LORD are straight down the line Heavy Metal, they easily out-Maiden Maiden, the sort of music I fell in love with as a teenager watching Maiden, Saxon and Motorhead at the Hammersmith Odeon back in the 80’s during the new wave of British heavy metal. (our editor in chief, Shane has just returned from Adelaide where he caught Girlschool and Raven, and I’m still seething with Jealousy!)

LORD’s new Album fallen Idols is due out on the 1st August, so this was a great chance to hear some of the new tracks for the first time. However they started the set with a couple of old classics from the early albums, as Tim, Andy, Mark and Adrian charged headlong into The Dreaming, the crowd giving a huge cheer and singing along for much of the set. Being one of Australias best and most successful Metal acts these guys are virtuosos of their craft, being even better tonight as they were reunited with Guitarist Mark Furtner, who has been missing in action for the past couple of gigs. The set was easily one of the best shows I have seen all year, and I can’t wait to track them down next time they head West or sooner if I get the chance. The good news is the New CD was on sale at the merch stand for those in attendance to grab a copy before the official release, which I duly did. The bad news is my crappy car CD player ate it with a horrible crunch, won’t give it back and has rendered the player useless, all before I had a chance to listen (insert crying sad face emoji here) However while sending the band copies of the photos from the night, I related this tale of woe, and the guys are sending me a replacement, now that’s service!

Topping off the night, Perth’s favourite Power metal band Silent Knight took to the stage with a battery of video cameras to capture the performance in all its glory, with a good mix of tracks from their first two albums the lads also gave the crowd a treat with their new track Blood on the Water from their forthcoming third album due out later this year. Cameron Nicholas gave a brilliant lead guitar performance, more than ably backed up by Stu McGill, on rhythm and Cameron Daw on bass. Singer Jesse Onur Oz gave it his all spending his time front and centre perched on top of the monitors leaning as far into the crowd as he could get, but also getting out of the way as Cameron and Stu gave some blinding guitar solos. By the time the last track, Power Metal Supreme, hit its final power cords the band was crashing headlong into the curfew, the chants for an encore going sadly unanswered, but after six hours of some of the best Aussie Metal you are likely to hear this year, the Perth Heavy metal faithful were fully satisfied.

Stormrider has become a regular fixture on the Perth scene, and the quality of this years lineup was just magnificent as Aussie metal just keeps getting better and better. Congratulations to Stu McGill and his team for putting on another brilliant event. Bring on Stormrider 2020!!

Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

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